Nov 23, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Indiana Hoosiers wide receiver Cody Latimer (3) catches the ball as Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Bradley Roby (1) tries to tackle him in the first quarter of the game at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: Three Players Who Could Sneak Into Round One

The 2014 NFL Draft is just two weeks from Thursday, although if it had not been moved into May time slot, it probably would have been this week.

Thanks a lot, NFL.

However, that just gives us more time to speculate, be confused about what our favorite teams are going to do, and to try and guess what players will go to team “X” come that second weekend in May.

I was having a thought earlier about some guys that are generating significant buzz right now in draft circles. These players are some that you have probably heard of in some capacity, but you’re thinking that your team might be able to get them in the second, maybe even the third round.

Not so fast.

Here I present to you, three players in this year’s NFL Draft that could sneak into the first round–and you shouldn’t be surprised about it.

Jan 5, 2013; Birmingham, AL, USA; Mississippi Rebels wide receiver Donte Moncrief (12) is tackled by Pittsburgh Panthers defensive back Jason Hendricks (25) during the first half of the BBVA Compass Bowl at Legion Field. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

1. Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss

Donte Moncrief’s rise into the first round reminds me a lot of the case of Demaryius Thomas back in 2010. Thomas was an under-utilized speed demon at Georgia Tech who averaged almost 20 yards per reception and was a big play threat in the triple-option offense.

Moncrief doesn’t appear as fast on tape as Thomas, but he’s almost as big at 6’2″ and right around 221 pounds. He’s also got great timed speed, running a 4.40 at the Scouting Combine. Moncrief didn’t play in the most favorable offense at Ole Miss to showcase a receiver, but he racked up 156 catches for 2,371 yards and 20 touchdowns in three seasons as a member of the Rebels.

He’s had private visits/workouts with a number of teams picking at the bottom of round one in need of a receiver, including the Broncos, Panthers, and Cardinals, as well as some teams with high 2nd round picks including the Falcons and Bucs. He’s also had private workouts with Miami and Pittsburgh, who pick in the middle of round one.

Dec 21, 2013; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Colorado State Rams offensive lineman Weston Richburg (70) against the Washington State Cougars during the Gildan New Mexico Bowl at University Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2. Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State

The smart, hard-working center out of Colorado State may have punched a ticket into the first round. A lot of teams picking on the back end of the first round have a need at the center position, but probably won’t be able to take the risk that he will be there with that second selection.

This is a good year for Richburg because he’s the best at his position in this year’s draft and there is a pretty significant demand for centers this year.

He’s had a private workout with the Cardinals (picking 20th) and will be drawing the interest of teams like the Patriots, Packers, Broncos, Giants, Lions, and Jaguars among others.

3. Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana

When I asked Matt Miller of Bleacher Report if Cody Latimer (and these other prospects) could go in the first round he said of Latimer, “definitely.” This is a big receiver with speed, agility, and huge upside that is almost guaranteed not to slip out of the top 32 picks in a couple of weeks.

He enjoyed the best season of his career as a junior at Indiana catching 72 passes for 1,096 yards and nine touchdowns, all career marks.

Latimer’s size at 6’3″ 215 pounds and speed are intriguing teams. He’s a physical specimen who has private workouts or has had workouts with the Panthers, Bills, Chargers, Eagles, Jaguars, Lions, Raiders, Redskins, and Seahawks. This is a very intriguing prospect.

Tags: 2014 Nfl Draft Arizona Cardinals Buffalo Bills Carolina Panthers Cody Latimer Denver Broncos Detroit Lions Donte Moncrief Green Bay Packers Jacksonville Jaguars Miami Dolphins New England Patriots NFL Draft Nfl Draft Rumors Oakland Raiders Philadelphia Eagles Seattle Seahawks Washington Redskins Weston Richburg

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